Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Canon 035

The past two weeks have been challenging. Last Monday night, I came home from my women’s bible study meeting, and I went straight to bed with a blasting migraine. I’m so thankful that I don’t struggle with migraines regularly; they are so crippling! Once the migraine faded around noon the next day, my throat started hurting. I quickly realized I was getting sick, sick, sick. Sore throat turned into sinus pressure, to me losing my voice completely, to coughing, to congestion…lots of fun stuff.

Also last week, Eugene had to leave for a five day school trip to Washington DC with 8th graders. He left early on Friday, and I had a huge event for around 400 people to work Saturday until around 1am – oh, and did I mention I’ve been wicked-sick and during the event, my eye started turning red? I made it through Saturday’s event, down a staff member because his grandma was rushed to the hospital about 30 minutes after the event started, and the little one had a blast playing with her cousin while my sister kindly watched her.

The little one woke up relatively early on Sunday, as usual, so we headed to church. I caught my nurse-friend in the hall at church to ask her about my eye, and she broke the news to me that it was probably pink eye. Bummed, I picked the little one up from the church nursery, left church early, dropped her off with Eugene’s family, and headed to urgent care for my cold and eye issues. The doctor diagnosed me with laryngitis, upper respiratory infection, and an eye infection. {Awesome.} He gave me a prescription for my eye and a back up Z pack prescription to hold on to, but said the rest of my ailments should heal on their own.

Now it’s Tuesday. Eugene’s ETA keeps getting pushed later and later, and I’m pretty sure I have an ear infection and my other eye is infected too.

So why am I sharing all this crummy stuff with the title of the post “Thankful”? Because, despite all this junk, I haven’t felt too discouraged through the past couple weeks. All I can think of is how grateful I am that I am usually very healthy. I haven’t been on a prescription for well over a year, and I rarely need to go to the doctor. I have two eyes that see perfectly normally, a throat that usually produces a clear voice, a head that is typically pain-free. I have a job that provides extra for my family, and only requires me to go in the office a few days a week. I have a family who is willing and eager to watch the little one any time I have to work or go to the doctor. I have a husband whom I miss incredibly when he’s gone. {I don’t take that for granted…I know wives joke about wishing their husbands would go on a trip, but I was dreading him leaving!} I have technology to watch my little one and her daddy FaceTime and sign “I love you” to each other while he’s miles away.

I have so much to be thankful for – even in a week full of crud.


Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp? It’s sooo good. It’s all about how to “wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to loses and crushed dreams and all that empties out.” It’s about giving thanks for everything, all the small details, every little moment. And I’m not one who throws this phrase around, but it’s life-changing. Not big, hit you over the head, and scream at you life-changing, but whisper in the background, squeeze your hand gently, right when you need it most life-changing.

I read it once for pleasure, and then a second time to take notes {20 pages of notes!} I love Ann’s style of poetic writing. I love her rich way with words to simplify an incredibly profound way of thinking and living to be understandable, relatable, manageable. It’s partly because of this book, I’m sure, that I’m able to keep a grateful heart and a thankful outlook through crummy week’s like this one. I may do a whole post later of my favorite quotes/passages from the book, but for now, I’ll just share a few for safe keeping here on my little blog.

  • “Eucharisteo – thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.” (p35) She expounds on this deeply; it’s an amazing revelation.
  • “Thanksgiving makes time. Creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks and say I have enough.” (p72)


  • Eph. 5:20 Always giving thanks for all things…even the hard stuff. Even the losses. Tough eucharisteo (p93) “If you haven’t lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember, ‘through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’ [Acts 14:22 NASB]…” (p98)
  • God “’does not enjoy hurting people or causing them to sorrow’ (Lamentations 3:33), but labors to birth grief into greater grace. Isn’t that the crux of the gospel? Then good news that all those living in the land of shadow of death have been birthed into new life, that the transfiguration of a suffering world has already begun. Than suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart – and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty…I can say it certain now: All is grace…Everything is eucharisteo.” (p100)


  • “Worry is the façade of taking action when prayer really is.” (p143) “Every time fear freezes, worry writhes, and I surrender to stress, I’m advertising the unreliability of God. But if I’m thankful…for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust him again.” (p151) – this was a huge concept for me. So helpful.
  • “Trust is a bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks. I can walk from the know to unknown and know: He holds. I could walk unafraid.” (p152)


  • the heights of our joy are measured by the depths of our gratitude. (p167) Eucharisteo makes knees the vantage point of a life.
  • And possibly my favorite part – this is a lovely prayer that so eloquently sums my heart as well: “Jesus, I know what I want: to see deeply, to thank deeply, to feel joy deeply. How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy – and seeing shows the way in.” (p118)

Oh I pray that I will see deeply, thank deeply, and feel joy deeply. If you haven’t read One Thousand Gifts, now is the perfect time of year to dig in and enjoy it. What a blessing this life is, every little moment, the sweet spots as much as the painful ones.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.


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